The rising star of Rosemary Stevens shines brightly in this spirited tale of love, laughter and the importance of cats.

It is, after all, a cat who is responsible for the first meeting of Miss Daphne Kendall with the sinfully handsome Earl of Ravenswood. Her heart touched by the plight of the "world's smallest tiger" at the Astley Royal Amphitheater, Daphne takes on the cat's rascally owner in an attempt to purchase the suffering beast. Only the intervention of the earl, however, persuades the scoundrel to part with his showpiece.

Both the earl's Egyptian manservant and Daphne's new companion are convinced that their principals are meant for each other. But, disillusioned by his father's second marriage to a scheming younger beauty, Ravenswood is determined to avoid passion and wed for convenience.

When it comes to the test, will he really be able to walk away from love?

Ms. Stevens tickles our fancy with this delicious cat caper featuring an intricate subplot that captures the imagination with its dash and verve, (Dec., 198 pp., $4.50)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer